“Today Anna is that confident, independent girl who didn’t only turn dreams into reality, that of studying to be a doctor, but also revealed her personality, clearly understanding what she wanted and what she could do. No more room for doubt, fear and insecurity!”
This was Anna’s answer to the question, “Who has Anna become today?” After three years of being involved in the Dream House project, Anna had dramatically improved her life and developed a secure personality, ready to move forward and live free of risk and vulnerability. Anna was quite a different girl than when she first arrived.
Everything had started when Anna was still very young when her father simply left, deciding his family was not important. Later, due to financial challenges, her mother left Moldova and went abroad to Russia to earn money. In time, Anna found out that her mother was pregnant and that she would soon come back home with their new father. Anna described the struggle she was going through at that point saying, “Who was he to take away my mother? Of course, I could not hate my mother, after all, she was still my mother.” As time went by, her mother gave birth to a baby boy, the third child in the family and, with her husband, returned to Russia leaving Anna abandoned in Moldova.
When Anna first came to Dream House, she was very withdrawn and not interested in socializing with the other girls. She definitely was fearful and hesitant about trying to fit into the program. At first she would only talk with the girls she came in with, but within a few weeks she began to ask questions and started to learn about the other girls who were already at Dream House. Within the first six months, Anna made good progress, learning about cooking, housekeeping and time management. In spite of her struggles at the beginning, by the end of the first year Anna managed to exceed most of the girls and became one of the best, especially in math.
In the second year, Anna enrolled in Way to Success training. She really wanted to understand her strengths and weaknesses and with that knowledge, she became more confident in her own abilities. The training opened a new world for her as she began to see some positive things about herself that she had not realized. One of those things was her aptitude in leadership, an area in which she continues to gro
It was later in the third year that she came back to her original desire, to study medicine. She began to use her medical knowledge both within the center helping the other girls with their health issues and outside in the summer camps where she volunteered as a medical assistant. And as she was involved with all this, she was able to put to use the new skills she had learned of time and budget management, never complaining about being overloaded with tasks or a lack of money. And she also was volunteering in the ‘Way to Success’ classes, helping new students deal with the issues she had to face in the beginning, acting as mentor.
Today, Anna is committed to work on finishing her studies and working in Moldova. This is where her home is and her heart. She has developed strong leadership skills and is confident in her own talents and skills. There is no more fear in fighting for what is right and she has no hesitation in sharing with others and making friends. And because she feels capable in managing her time and finances, she is confident in the ability to live independently while at the same time developing relationships with people around her.
“Before Dream House, I was afraid to do something independently, as the lack of knowledge, experience and life skills could simply ruin many aspects of my life. I used to be easily manipulated, deceived or used by others, but year after year, the life in the project helped me understand people, be independent and take a position in different life situations. Most important, Dream House formed my values, beliefs, gave me faith in God and confidence in myself. I am very grateful for all these changes.” – Anna
Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, is a small country tucked between Romania and Ukraine. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moldova returned to being an independent country. The transition has not been an easy one. Moldova’s citizens are facing extreme poverty and one of their largest challenges is the absence of available jobs.
The effects of the lack of employment and low wages manifest in human trafficking, organized crime, a corruption-dominated society, and a generation of children unable to attend school.
Children’s HopeChest was founded in 1994 in response to the devastating need of orphans in Russia following the fall of the Iron Curtain. These children had serious basic needs for clothing, food, medical attention and facilities, but more compelling was their need for love, human interaction and care, and hope for the future. In response, Children’s HopeChest developed a holistic approach, which helps meet medical, physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual needs of orphaned children and youth, in fulfillment of our mission. Children’s HopeChest equips vulnerable children, their families, and communities to empower them to become more self-sustaining and escape the cycle of poverty.
Most sponsorship organizations focus on one-to-one child sponsorship, but Children’s HopeChest focuses on integrating those sponsorship and donor commitments into transforming the communities in which those children live. We partner with people who are passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty and bringing hope and dignity to orphaned and vulnerable children. We provide all the tools you need to empower your community- whether it be your workplace, your friend group, or your church – to be engaged in long-term holistic care for vulnerable children, as well as their families and their entire communities. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can support Children’s HopeChest here.
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